Faces in the Crowd

Identifiable only by his New Balance headband, William H. Rodgers of Boston MA
appears lost in a sea of runners at the start of the 1975 Boston Marathon (APWIREPHOTO)

“Chase begins at noon in Hopkinton – 2392 strong” read the headline for the Boston Sunday Globe’s preview of the 1975 Boston Marathon. The above starting line photo of the record field (22% larger than the year before) shows several runners mentioned in that article.  Course record holder Ron Hill, #1 on the far right, is described as past his peak but still capable of a sub 2:16. Tom Fleming (#2) “is a powerful brute, who finished second the last two years and has the potential to take it all.” In sunglasses just behind Fleming is Canadian Jerome Drayton, who had run Boston seven years earlier under his German birth name of “Peter Buniak.” The Globe said “the feeling is he’s ready to unload.”

Runners from 17 different countries competed. Ari-Pekka Gylbing (U98) is described as one of four Finns on hand “and they never can be ignored…” He will cut three and a half minutes off his PR and finish 13th.

Although incorrectly labeling the domestic field as “strong numerically, a bit thin talent-wise,” the Globe identified Steve Hoag (#6, Minnesota’s Twin City Track Club) as among those figuring to lead that pack.

And finally, the article quotes the crusty Jock Semple: “There’s a priest running, Sean Healy from Millrose (#23). He’s not bad and he won the Earth Day Marathon, so he could be a threat.” Healy would finish in 2:36:29.

More Faces in the Crowd

Allen L. Westman
Minneapolis, Minnesota
326th Place

After attending Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Allen Westman earned his B.S. degree in 1977 from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He is a big Tina Turner fan. Allen is shown here with Jill Beardsley and his long time friend Dick at the Dick Beardsley Half Marathon and 5K in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. 

   #535 Hans G. Roenau , Tiburon, California; 582nd Place - 2:51:20
Austrian born Hans Roenau grew up in Shanghai before settling near San Francisco. In later life, digital photography and hiking replaced long distance running as his passion. Hans described himself as a vegetarian, an extrovert, and someone who doesn't take life terribly seriously. However, a month before his death, he posted this reaction to the 2013 marathon bombing.
#199 Wayne Roe, Silver Spring, Maryland, 371st Place 2:43:53

Wayne Roe is Managing Director for InCube Ventures, a life science venture firm focused on investing in and nurturing promising life sciences companies. The company’s mission is to identify extraordinary innovations that solve unmet clinical needs for large patient populations, and help bring those innovations to market.

1975 Streakers: These nine runners would successfully reach the Boston finish line in every subsequent race until the 2013 bombing added a few asterisks to their longevity streaks. All nine men returned to complete Boston’s 26.2 mile course in 2014, and keep their four decade long records alive.
The 1975 race was already Boston #8 for Ben Beach, whose accomplishment was documented in the Harvard Magazine article “Ben Beach, Iron Man of the Boston Marathon.” “It’s what I do on Patriots Day,” Beach said.
Ben Beach, Iron Man of the Boston Marathon

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